The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has demanded that the power distribution companies waive power connection charges for the poor and middle class.

CPI (M) state executive member and former floor leader in the municipal corporation Ch. Babu Rao addressing a press conference here on Thursday said that the power companies were purchasing electricity from private companies at high rates and were putting the burden even on the poor.

While there was a norm that the poor should be charged just Rs. 420 per connection, the power companies were charging up to Rs. 2,400 per connection at the rate of Rs. 1,300 per every extra kilowatt.

He said that even electrical articles like television, mixer-grinder, water cooler and iron box were being taken into consideration to project the consumption of power by a household. The power distribution companies had set for themselves a target of collecting Rs. 10 crore and they had already collected Rs. 3 crore. He said that assistant engineers from other places in the district have been deployed in the city for the express purpose of calculating connection charges.